Pottery History

Pottery History

Pottery played a vital and important role in the everyday lives of the people of Bible times. It is not surprising therefore, that pottery and pottery making is often mentioned in the Bible. Many times prophets and preachers of the Bible used everyday experiences as object lessons to illustrate spiritual truths. The bowls, jars and the manufacturing processes which produced them were familiar to everyone. The holy men of God used these to good advantage.

Clay is common in the region. Consequently, pottery-making was carried out in numerous locations in the country. Many excavators have found evidence of the pottery industry in the form of remains of potters’ wheels, potters’ tools, unfired vessels, prepared clay, kilns, etc. Taken together, these data indicate that the pottery industry in ancient Palestine was quite sophisticated with a potters’ wheel and permanent kilns being used. This industry is in contrast to more primitive cultures where hand forming and open firing in bonfires were the mode of production.

This documentary will brief the historical existance of pottery in this rgion, but will avail for a downloaded file to be useful for interested visitors hungry for more historical tales.

The history of pottery in this region begins in the Late Neolithic period, sometimes known as Pottery Neolithic (PN) or occasionally, based on a supposed local sequence of the site of Jericho, Pottery Neolithic A.

Roman period
During the Roman and early Byzantine period, common kitchen ware of the Galilee region was produced primarily in Kafr 'Inan (Kefar Hananya). One item produced there, the "Kefar Hananya I CE type," is also known as the "Galilean bowl." This coarse ware network was one of many sub-regional and micro-regional coarse and fine ware ceramic culture networks in operation in the Levant.

Arab period
In exploring the similarities throughout the different eras, Macalister discusses this region's pottery in the Arab period and its shared characteristics with the ancient and modern pottery produced in the region. Of the pottery from the Arab period, he notes: "...there seem to have been large globular jars, not unlike the Pre-Semitic and First Semitic barrel-shaped jars." He describes them as having "ledge-handles, though of a different shape from the early ledge-handles," and continues to write that, "... this kind of handle is still made in native pottery." Further, he notes that jar-covers from this period are strikingly similar to those of the "earliest type of ware," the "Second Semitic jar-covers, with two loops in the middle of the saucer."

Continuity through the ages in Palestine
Modern pots, bowls, jugs and cups, particularly those produced prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948, are similar in shape, fabric and decoration to their ancient equivalents. Winifred Needler, Deputy Keeper of the Near Eastern Department at the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology writes in Palestine: Ancient and Modern (1949) that this continuity demonstrates "how persistently the potter's craft clung to tradition through the centuries."

Extracted from http://www.palestinetoday.org/